Vincent van Gogh is famous for painting Sunflowers and The Starry Night. His paintings now cost 10 million dollers each, but only one was sold during his lifetime.
It was The Red Vineyards, an oil painting from 1888 that depicts people working in the evening in a vineyard in southern Arles, France.
It was exhibited at an exhibition in Belgium in 1890, five months before Van Gogh's death, and was purchased for 400 francs (about $2,000 today) by Anna Bock, a female painter and sister of the Belgian poet Eugène Bock, who was also Van Gogh's friend from Arles.
In October 1888, Van Gogh was living with another painter, Gauguin, with whom he shared a studio and worked outdoors. In a letter sent to his brother Theo on November 6, van Gogh wrote, "I am working on a vineyard of only red, purple, and yellow."
Gauguin also produced a work with the same vineyard motif.
InVendanges à Arles, ou Misères humaines, a striking image of a female farmer harvesting bright red grapes is depicted behind a young girl.
At the time, Van Gogh was fascinated by the red and yellow vineyards of Arles, which had turned autumnal. The river on the right side of the painting shows the yellow rays of the sun reflecting off the surface of the water, harmonizing with the red vineyards.
Van Gogh also painted a portrait of Eugène Bock, the brother of Anna Bock, who purchased The Red Vineyards.
The Impressionist influence that Van Gogh brought to the world continues to spread regardless of time and country.
Check out these Impressionist works by Japanese contemporary artists.
"Red" Paintings Today
Also check out contemporary paintings using "red" as the main color, like The Red Vineyards.